Oh bullshit. You’re simply far too squeamish to even consider the possibility.
If I'm to consider it I want to see something a lot more damning than one press statement and a shit ton of speculation. There's nothing about what seems to be known about the whole event that doesn't also pretty easily fit into the business as usual explanation of the police investigation.
Speculation about timing, motives and interested parties is all well and good, but it's not exactly much evidence on which to seriously reframe the role of the police in this country.
If you accept that this was harassment of a journalist to intimidate and dissuade him and other potential whistleblowers – by our police – at the behest of our government – then that is a truly scary proposition.
I totally get why some people react by trying to find some explanation that doesn’t involve total corruption.
The point is that suggesting this is political, or at the behest of the SIS or others, has massive implications.
The police are far from perfect, but I still think they've proven to be fairly independent. In the past they have sometimes taken requests from ministers and others perhaps more seriously than they would if the same claim were made by Joe Bloggs, but I'm not sure that's a matter of politics more than it is a matter of profile.
It's an extraordinary claim I think - and typically extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, which I really don't think is evident (so far?) in this case.
I may be reading too much into this but it seems to me as though this may be a reason for why the police raided while Nicky was in Auckland. He may have been able to prevent the search entirely if he or a representative had been present at the time
Hager had two lawyers present at the search I believe, and from the police thing quoted up thread a little it seems that there was quite a lot of back and forth about it with police and their advisers too?
Also, no offence, but “I don’t know anything about this subject area, so everyone else must be equally ignorant” is kinda patronising and offensive.
I have not seen anyone in the media, or even here or on Twitter, claim to have any actual knowledge. I've not seen anyone suggest what is normal, or offer any information at all.
The only thing we know, as far as I can tell, is that Hager says there were five cops at his house for ten hours. I believe him but I simply don't think that's enough information to draw any conclusions about anything.
There's no question that from Hager's perspective it's a terrible invasion, as it would be from anyone's who had the same experience, but I just don't think anyone has presented any information (even anecdotal) to contextualise this event in any useful way.
Could someone explain to me just what protection being a journalist gives you? I understand there is something around not revealing your sources.
It's governed by Section 68 of the Evidence Act - I'm not a lawyer but I don't see a reading that would prevent police to executing a search warrant. However the warrant is basically forcing a person to 'produce' evidence, which is protected.
It seems however, based on the various allowances in the act that the action can be challenged - basically that there are circumstances when a journalist can be compelled to produce evidence, or when the protections of s68 don't apply. Given that those decisions have to be made by a judge it then makes sense, to me, that the police would execute the search warrant to secure the evidence, then make those arguments.
It's the definition of journalist and informant that have been argued about before, and may possibly be key here too?
Serious question: can anyone figure out why the police were there for 10 hours ?
Hager’s not a materialistic guy, so I assume he’s got an average-size house. Let’s assume two bedrooms, lounge, kitchen, bathroom and his office. So six rooms, for argument’s sake.
There is no way it’d take 10 hours to search six rooms. Maybe two or three at most. But 10 ? Why so long ?
I don't think we (I, at least) know enough about how these matters usually go. It's certainly not unusual for a police search to take many hours (even days at times?) and involve a fair number of officers.
So I don't know if 5 officers for ten hours is unusual or not. I wouldn't have too much difficulty believing that it's not.
Also given that we know that Hager was on the phone with the lead detective and that his lawyers were present it's possibly fair to assume at least some of that ten hours was not actually actively searching, but discussing matter with lawyers or others.
Ultimately I think any claims about how excessive or unreasonable the action was are basically baseless given how little anyone outside the case knows of the specifics of the event, and how little we generally know about what's typical for police in such a scenario.
Also, I'm assuming, seeing as it was mentioned more than once by Hager in media accounts, that the police warrant probably specified the USB stick he says he received from the hacker. I'm sure you could spend a very long time searching a house for something so easily concealed before you'd satisfy yourself that you'd exhausted all options.
I’m neither left wing nor right, but I confess I don’t see Slater as a journalist, regardless of what the judge said. If 5 policemen spent 10 hours in his home, taking everything they could find, yes I would call it excessive unless their warrant cited as grounds that there was a reasonable suspicion that he had hacked the information himself. Because we now know he’s got form in that area. Nothing about Hager’s previous activity as a journalist indicates that he has broken the law or been a party to the breaking of the law. Quite the contrary.
And no one is suggesting that Hager has broken the law or was party to it. I don't know what was specified on the warrant, or what is normal for a search of that nature. But I do know that a judge reviewed the police's application and issued a warrant so I'm assuming the basic premise of the search and seizure is legitimate. Hager's lawyers will not have an opportunity to challenge that in court, which I believe is the appropriate place.
If you’ are going to offer up hypotheticals, at least make them equivalent.
I think it was pretty equivalent. Regardless of Slater's past form (which I agree is terrible) I'm sure he is capable of actual journalism.
If thing played out as I suggested then I think it's very equal, and the same principles should apply.
In any case, there are times when the law has to be bent for the greater good. Especially when those entrusted to maintain the law think it’s not illegal when the President’s doing it.
In general I'd rather have that law bending take place in a court, not at the whim of police.
If the police are found to be wrong in this instance in a court then it can inform future behavior in a predictable and accountable way.
Your constant harping on ‘we’ ignores that you could well be addressing people who, for all you know, may well be better informed about a number of aspects of this case and its background than you are. Yet you continue to offer yourself as some kind of paragon of virtuous ignorance.
Aside from the police I'm not really aware of anyone who is better informed about it - I've certainly not seen anyone claim to be. However I'm entirely willing to have my ignorance dispelled, at which point I'm happy to reconsider my position.
The thing about “normal” is that a reasonably large number of people are familiar with it. As things stand, this appears pretty extreme, if not a first of its kind. Perhaps it really is “the new normal”, in which case we should be starting to think about a revolution, not downplaying it.
I've not really seen anything like that, but if you'd like to point be at some information I'm keen to look at it. Everything I've seen is really just speculation.